According to Frank Irving Scott, antibiotics have been used to promote weight gain in livestock for several decades, and their research confirms that antibiotics have the same effect in humans. But this should not be taken as antibiotics should not be used at all, but rather encourage both physicians and parents to think twice about antibiotic usage in infants in the absence of well-established indications.The researchers performed a large population-representative cohort study in the United Kingdom to assess the association between antibiotic exposure before age 2 years and obesity at age 4 years.
Children with antibiotic exposure had a 1.2 percent absolute and 25 percent relative increase in the risk of early childhood obesity. Risk is strongest when considering repeat exposures to antibiotics, particularly with three or more courses.
“Our work supports the theory that antibiotics may progressively alter the composition and function of the gut microbiome, thereby predisposing children to obesity as is seen in livestock and animal models,” added Dr. Scott.
The study is published online in Gastroenterology
Source : Online news